Prosecutors say the witness in the Trump documents case changed lawyers and then testified
WASHINGTON (AP) – A witness in the criminal case against Donald Trump on Hoarding confidential documents The Justice Department said Tuesday that it retracted a “prior perjury” after a change of attorneys last month and provided new information implicating the former president.
Statements from the witness, a Trump staffer identified in court papers as Mar-a-Lago’s IT director, were provided to prosecutors weeks before special counsel Jack Smith’s arrival. He received an updated indictment Trump and two others were accused of plotting to delete the surveillance video at the Florida property.
Prosecutors said in a Court filing on Tuesday that the witness told a grand jury in Washington in March that he could not recall any conversations about the security footage
But in July, after prosecutors warned him that he was a target of the investigation and after he was told that his attorney might have a conflict of interest for representing others in the investigation, the witness got a new attorney from the federal defense attorney. The court filing said his office provided the Justice Department with information that helped form the basis for the revised indictment against Trump, his servant Walt Nauta, and the third defendant, Carlos de Oliveira.
Prosecutors described the interaction of witnesses in a filing seeking a hearing in Florida about potential conflicts of interest involving defense attorney Stanley Woodward, who also represents Nota. Woodward declined to comment on Tuesday to The Associated Press.
“The targeted letter to Trump Employee #4 crystallized the conflict of interest arising from Mr. Woodward’s simultaneous representation of Trump Employee #4 and Nauta,” prosecutors wrote.
Former President Donald Trump has emerged as the Republican frontrunner in the 2024 election, despite facing four criminal indictments in New York, Florida, Washington, D.C. and Georgia. And if he gets the Republican nomination, Joe Biden may compete for the White House again. AP’s Jill Colvin explains more.
They added: “Advising Trump’s employee No. 4 to correct his sworn testimony would result in incriminating testimony from Mr. Woodward’s other client, Nauta; But allowing Trump Employee No. 4’s false testimony to go uncorrected would leave Trump Employee No. 4 open to criminal charges for perjury.
In the filing, the Justice Department also sought to explain its use of grand juries in both Washington and Florida, where the charges were eventually filed. US District Judge Elaine Cannon, a Florida judge presiding over the case, had previously questioned the legal appropriateness of using grand juries in both counties.
Prosecutors said they continued to use the grand jury in Washington even after the charges were brought in Florida for the express purpose of investigating possible false statements by witnesses in Washington. They said the grand jury in Washington finished its term last week.
A trial date has been set May 20, 2024 In the classified documents case, Trump pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.
Trump is He faces another trial by SmithAgainst the backdrop of efforts to annul the results of the 2020 presidential elections, As well as a criminal case in Georgia Because of attempts to sabotage the vote of that state and another in New York regarding the Pay hush money to a porn actor.
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This article originally appeared on apnews.com